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An Open Letter to HEMAA 2018 Election Candidates

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Reposted without alteration and with permission from the original post by Jake Priddy here. 

First of all, I want to acknowledge everyone’s willingness to step forward and run for a largely thankless, “behind the scenes” position of volunteer work in hopes of benefitting the HEMA community. Thank you for that.

As a lifetime member of HEMAA and the owner of an affiliate club, I beg your indulgence for a few minutes to please read this thoroughly, because it comes from a place of love for the organization and the community, and I’m quite sure I’m not alone in what I’m going to express.

This campaign season is going to be as it ever was, I’m sure, full of “Star Wars Empire” memes, despot jokes, and basically thumbing noses at the entire election process because, after all, you guys are volunteers right? Hey, you’re willing to do it and no one else is, or they’d have stepped up, right?
Wrong.

Make no mistake, the HEMAA is an organization comprised of people who have a real stake in the decision to be members. Running a HEMA club even more so, for affiliate club membership has some very real consequences for those who choose it. So what I ask is this: within the joke posters, memes and campaign popularity contest tomfoolery, I would appreciate it if you considered your position on some very real issues and have something to say on them. It isn’t enough to be the only one willing anymore, because the choice is not “made for us” to be a HEMA affiliate. We can choose to simply not be a part of it at all.

Yes, I’m being the “Debbie Downer” here, because there are some things that need to be addressed. In the past year, the HEMAA has changed. It has spent time, effort and money on creating a new logo, yet spent its yearly budget for event support in the first quarter of its fiscal term. It has collected yearly insurance monies, and then revised how insurance would work after those premiums were collected. It has revised and expanded its safety requirements, over and above those required by the insurer. It has changed how affiliates are to handle membership – again, over and above the insurer’s requirements – mostly what seems to me to be for the sake of promoting a sponsored website (TidyClub) and as a means of forcing individual membership to be handled by the HEMAA rather than its affiliate clubs. Now, it has changed how the nomination process of determining candidates works so that candidates must self-nominate.

That’s quite a bit of “revision” in an organization that can be called to task on several supposed “benefits of membership” that have been less than consistent. These are issues. They should be addressed. Whether they are looked at in the light of improvements, reflective of the direction the HEMAA wants to go or mistakes that need mending is a position that should be thought about and addressed to the voters. I encourage you all to please, take some time, delve into what has been going on, and please make some part of your campaign a real position on a real reason to vote for you specifically, and what you intend to try and accomplish more than “whatever needs done.”

Do you know what “vote for Tyranny!” and “I’ll do whatever needs done!” tells us?
It tells us you haven’t got a clue of what needs done, and volunteerism does not equal qualified.

Richard Marsden EARNED the “Tyrant” meme by actually accomplishing things and being an organizer and leader, and HEMAA was better for his tenure.

Be like Marsden. Earn your meme, campaign on your reality.
Thanks for listening!
Jake Priddy
Fenris Kunst des Fechtens
Martinsburg WV

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One thought on “An Open Letter to HEMAA 2018 Election Candidates

  1. I agree, HEMAA is an excellent organization but some of the member clubs have attitudes that really push away people.

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